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Making the Simple Complicated is Commonplace

“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.”
- Charles Mingus

Now, as a musician, I don’t think Mingus was actually referring to the spoken word, but the principle applies.

The next time someone asks, “What do you do?” (aka the dreaded ‘elevator pitch’), think of this quote.  They don’t want to know that you, for instance, sell whole and term life insurance, derivative products, mutual funds, stocks and bonds.  They want to know that you can offer them a secure retirement.  The rest is the “how”.

Moreover, life is complicated.  Don’t stop applying this rule after you win the customer.  Take the time to speak their language.  Don’t use jargon.  People hate having to ask “What does that mean?”.  It may make you look like an expert, but if so, it also makes you look like an expert who doesn’t respect his audience enough to make his meaning clear.

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